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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Hastings Rifles

Hastings Rifles.

The Hastings Rifles was founded in July, 1887, with Sir William Russell first in command. In shooting matters it has always held a good record, and in 1905 won the Coleman and Hastings Challenge Shields. The corps has a membership of fifty-six. Parades are held weekly, and special parades are also held with the battalion. There are frequent practices at the drill shed, inspection of arms is conducted quarterly, and class firing is held weekly at the Te Mata range. The members of the corps have two uniforms, one of khaki, with putties and helmet, and the other a blue uniform, with white facings, helmets, and belts; there are also blue field service caps. Officers of the corps are: Captain A. O. Bishop, Lieutenants A. Cullen and H. M. Bishop, Colour-Sergeant Charles Ross, and Sergeants Donald McLeod, William Ryder, and William Thomson. Corporal Vivian Smith is secretary.

Captain Allan Owen Bishop, of the Hastings Rifles, joined the corps in the year 1898, as a private, and subsequently rose to the rank of captain. He is an able and popular officer, and takes a keen interest in the welfare of his corps. He was born in July, 1879, and is a son of a well-known Hawke's Bay settler, who was for eleven years manager for Archdeacon Williams, of Te Aute. Captain Bishop was educated at the Heretaunga High School, and was afterwards apprenticed to the engineering profession, at which he has since been continuously employed. For some time he worked at Messrs Jones and Sons' engineering works, in Hastings, where he paid particular attention to the making and repairing of motor cars; and he is now the Hastings agent of a Napier firm of motor car importers and manufacturers. Captain Bishop is a member of the Hastings Hockey Club, and of St. Matthew's Gymnastic Club.

Lieutenant Arthur Richard Cullen joined the Hastings Rifles in the year 1900 as a private, and was elected to his present rank in January, 1906. He was born in Napier in November, 1881, was educated at the Hastings District High School, and afterwards entered commercial life as a clerk in the Mutual Life Assurance office in Napier. Later he was for about six months employed at various trades, and then became a pupil teacher in the Hastings District High School, where he was appointed second assistant master in 1904.

Sergeant William Thompson, of the Hastings Rifles, joined the corps as a private in the year 1902. He was born in Napier in November, 1884, and was educated at the Hastings public school. He was afterwards employed for a short time in a stationery business, and subsequently learned carpentry. Mr. Thompson is a journeyman in the employ of Messrs Stanley Brothers, of Hastings. He takes a keen interest in football, and is an active member of a local club.

Brown and Ross, photo.Sergeant W. Thompson.

Brown and Ross, photo.
Sergeant W. Thompson.

page 329

Sergeant D. S. McLeod joined the Hastings Rifles in 1897 as a private, and attained his present rank in the early part of the year 1902. He has represented his corps at the Coleman Shield competitions for the last six years. Mr. McLeod was born in Napier in December, 1878, was educated at the Hastings public school, and has since been employed at gardening. In 1898 he took up a position in the Grasmere orchard, and four years later succeeded Mr. E. A. Crappa as manager.

Brown and Ross, photo.Sergeant D. S. Mc Leod.

Brown and Ross, photo.
Sergeant D. S. Mc Leod.

Sergeant William Ryder joined the Hastings Rifles in the year 1902, subsequently became Lance-Corporal and Corporal, and was elected to his present rank in January, 1906. He was born in Gisborne in June, 1881, was educated at the Hastings public school, and learned gardening. He afterwards became manager's chief assistant at the Grasmere orchard. Mr. Ryder is a member of the local Lodge of Oddfellows.

Sergeant Hugh McKay, of the Hastings Rifles, was born at East Taieri, near Dunedin, in December, 1863, and was brought up to farm life. For some years he was engaged on various farms, and is now (1906) employed by Messrs Nelson Brothers, and resides in Hastings. Mr. McKay was formerly connected for some time with the Clutha Rifles, and joined his present corps in 1900.

Colour-Sergeant Charles William Ross is the only surviving member of the first roll of the Hastings Rifles. In the year 1896 he won the Government medal as the best rifle shot in the East Coast Battalion, and in 1899 he won the first cup presented to the corps, the donor being Sir William Russell. Three years in succession he took second place in the competition for the Company's Challenge Belt, and for many years was a member of the representative team in the contest for the Coleman Shield, having on two occasions been a member of the winning team. He also holds several other trophies. Mr. Ross was born in 1856, in Nelson, where he was educated at the public schools, and brought up as a coach-builder in his native place. In May, 1884, he settled in Hastings, and was employed for some years by the late Mr. Faulknor, and when the coach factory conducted by that gentleman was purchased by Mr. J. A. Pothan, he continued in the employ of the new proprietor, for whom he is now (1906) foreman. He is married, and has two sons and two daughters. Mr. Ross is a member of the Hastings Presbyterian Church, a member of the local school committee, and he is also a Forester.

Brown and Ross, photo.Colour-Sergeant C. W. Ross.

Brown and Ross, photo.
Colour-Sergeant C. W. Ross.